Do you want to help people improve their health or performance? Our exercise, performance, and health optimization master’s degree will provide you with the knowledge, skills, and experience to be an allied health professional. Our curriculum provides you with current information and novel intervention strategies. This prepares you to assume leadership roles in the field of health promotion and performance optimization.

Major areas of study include energy expenditure, exercise psychology, and behavioral fitness. You will learn research methods and techniques, as well as how to work with special populations. You will gain hands-on experience and master your skill throughout your internship, and you will learn how to change behaviors and environments to improve the health and wellness of all people.

This master’s program prepares you to work in commercial settings, cardiac rehabilitation, corporate fitness, and more.

Degree Overview

We offer thesis and a non-thesis options for this masters degree.

Coursework — 33 hours minimum

  • Exercise, performance, and health optimization courses — 27 hours

  • Internship — 1 to 5 hours

  • Advisor-approved courses — 1 to 5 hours

  • Research and thesis — 6 hours (Required for thesis option)



  • Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university

Application Deadlines

  • Applications and all other relevant material must be received by the Graduate School by the following dates:
    • February 1 for Graduate Assistantships (completed online with your graduate school application)
    • May 1 for Fall semester start (August)
    • April 1 for International applicants for Fall semester start (August)

Admission Requirements


For the admission process, you will need to provide the following in your application to the Graduate School:

  • Three letters of recommendation that address professional and academic qualifications (submitted through Graduate School online application)
  • Official transcript
  • Application fee payment

International applicants must also submit:

  • TOEFL or IELTS test
  • Medical insurance plan and an Official Statement of Financing
  • Letter of Intent describing why you want to obtain a graduate degree in kinesiology
  • Resume, submitted with letter of intent
  • Approval from the School of Kinesiology Director and Graduate Program Officer

Although we only require a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university, we strongly recommend that our graduate students, who have not completed undergraduate degrees in kinesiology or other related fields, complete undergraduate coursework in exercise physiology, biomechanics, and motor learning prior to starting a graduate degree program in Kinesiology.

Additionally, basic science courses are the foundation of the Kinesiology academic discipline and we suggest securing this knowledge prior to starting our program.

Ready to join the Auburn Family?

Visit Auburn’s Graduate School homepage for checklists, resources, valuable graduate student information and to begin your application. Please contact department faculty listed above with program-specific questions.

Program Contacts

C. Brooks Mobley
Assistant Clinical Professor
Matt Miller
Assistant Director

Career Options

Examples of the type of work you can do with a master’s degree in exercise, performance, and health optimization:

  • Community health specialist

  • School health worker

  • Health educator for an organization

  • Health policy analyst or administrator

  • Corporate wellness program coordinator

  • Health promoter for chronic disease and injury prevention

  • Health researcher or writer

  • Natural health products marketer

  • Health promotion program coordinator

  • Public health consultant or planner

Last updated: 01/18/2024